State v. Kelly

478 A.2d 364, 97 N.J. 178 (1984)

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State v. Kelly

New Jersey Supreme Court
478 A.2d 364, 97 N.J. 178 (1984)

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Facts

Kelly's (defendant) husband beat and abused her for years. One day, Kelly’s husband attacked her in public and ran at her with his arms raised in a menacing nature. Not knowing whether he was armed or not, Kelly grabbed scissors out of her purse and stabbed her husband, killing him. Kelly was charged with murder, and she claimed self-defense. At trial, Kelly called an expert witness on battered woman's syndrome, but the court determined her testimony was inadmissible. The jury convicted Kelly of reckless manslaughter, a lesser charge. Kelly appealed, claiming that the expert’s testimony should have been admitted at trial.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wilentz, C.J.)

Concurrence (Handler, J.)

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